How to DIY a Cheese and/or Charcuterie Board When You’re on Vacation

Because what’s that souvenir bottle of wine good for without a gorgeous platter of sweet and savory snacks?
After El Bonita Motel was tagged in an especially wholesome Instagram post, we thought we’d bring you the lowdown on upping your in-suite snack game.

Thanks for the inspiration, Sarah. Do we call it a ‘cheese’ board if there’s no meat, and ‘charcuterie’ when there is? We might just call it a ‘snack board’ while we’re at it, or ‘pairs-well-with-this-fancy-new-red board.’ Cheese and charcuterie boards are a veritable art. So if you’re highly sensitive to their debasement…. Here is your official warning to look away. At least we can promise it’ll taste great (if nothing else).

Procure your wine of choice

Red’s a safe bet. There are so many wineries in the Napa Valley — and there are a handful with open tasting rooms right here in St. Helena. To pair with your soon-to-be-constructed snack board (if we’re calling it that), here’s a handy guide to your red wines. TL; DR: opt for something mild, like a merlot or pinot noir. Those are generally the blanket crowd-pleasers.

Choose the cornerstones of your snacking

A.k.a. your meats and/or cheeses. Check out this blog post for tips on selecting the right meats and cheeses for your needs. We recommend you find these at the Napa Valley Olive Oil Company or local Sunshine Foods.

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Supplemental salt

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear ‘bar food’? Salt! In all its incarnations. Depending on your palate, we would recommend fresh cured olives, marcona almonds, roasted cashews, pecans, and pickles. Oh, and don’t forget your fresh-baked bread and/or crackers — you’ll need some sort of vehicle for all the cheese and charcuterie you picked out earlier.

Delicate and sweet touches

You’ll need fruit! Obviously grapes, red or green will do, but apples and berries are another great addition. We won’t hold it against you if you nab a few from our morning breakfast spread at our St Helena motel (though you might find more exotic options at the farmers’ market). Other old-standbys include dried figs, dates, and apricots. Beyond the vine, a good cherry or other-berry spread will round out that bread and crackers. And if you’re feeling fancy, make like Sarah did and break up some chocolate or candy bark for good measure.

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Hungry yet?

Come visit us at El Bonita, the most conveniently located St Helena Motel

Explore the Napa Valley. Find our St Helena motel on Facebook and Instagram.